Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who had previously called for Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez to step down, reiterated Wednesday that he believes Noguez is unfit for office.
"This case is fraud and he should resign immediately so the county can move forward,” Antonovich said in an interview after Noguez's arrest. “He has lost all credibility.”
Antonovich also said he believes that others will soon face criminal charges.
"I know that there will be others who will be indicted in the near future because this cannot be a one- or two-man operation. It’s important the district attorney move quickly."
Noguez, his aide Mark McNeil and campaign contributor Ramin Salari were all arrested Wednesday morning as part of a yearlong investigation into political corruption in the assessor's office. Dist. Atty. Cooley said Noguez reduced property taxes in exchange for campaign contributions. Noguez allegedly accepted $185,000 in bribes from Salari between February 2010 and September 2010.
Noguez’s attorney, Michael Proctor, said his client was not given a chance to explain his side of the story.
He accused Cooley's office of conducting a "one-sided, result-driven investigation aimed at 'getting' Mr. Noguez," rather than a search for the truth.
Antonovich said that he wants to conduct a nationwide search for a replacement if Noguez does step down and that Santos Kreimann, who is currently the active head of the assessor’s office, should be a candidate if he wants to apply. (Noguez took a voluntary paid leave of absence in June).
Kreimann “is there to restore order and credibility to the department and he’s done that superbly,” Antonovich said.
-- Jason Song, Los Angeles Times